Yesterday Nick Robinson confirmed reports that he is leaving his role as the BBC’s political editor to join the Today programme. Now the race is on to find a worthy successor. Helpfully Ladbrokes have released a rather intriguing list of favourites for the job.
Robinson’s deputy political editor James Landale is the favourite for the role at 5/2. David Cameron’s revelation to Landale that he wouldn’t ‘serve a third term’ if re-elected became one of the big stories of the elections. While this ought to win him favour upstairs, Landale has two problems: (a) he is not a woman (b) he is an Old Etonian. It’s thought that — in the interests of equality and diversity — Tony Hall is keen that a woman is given the plum job. If so, this might not even be an issue for Landale who is already a favourite to replace Tom Bradby as ITV’s political editor.
In terms of the fairer sex, internal candidates Laura Kuenssberg and Allegra Stratton are the frontrunners, while Channel 4’s Cathy Newman has also been touted as a replacement at 6/1. However, given that Newman made headlines earlier this year after having to apologise for tweeting that she had been ‘ushered’ out of a south London mosque, the corporation may well decide she is a bit risky. Mr S’s own colleague Isabel Hardman is being tipped as the outside bet, with her odds reduced from 33/1 to 16/1 after ‘shrewd media watchers took a punt on her chances’. However, Mr S can verify that as of 5pm this Friday her desk has not yet been cleared.
If Landale does go to ITV, and the BBC decide to go for a man, they may consider their economics editor Robert Peston — who has odds of 10/1 — after he was overlooked for the Newsnight role last year. Adam Boulton is an outside bet at 16/1 but given the BBC’s current financial situation, this is probably the wrong time for a big money external hire. Andrew Neil, whose odds are at 25/1, may not be the only member of his household in the running:
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) July 9, 2015
Or for a younger option, the New Statesman‘s Stephen Bush is at 33/1. Seriously, could Stephen Bush win?
5/2 James Landale3/1 Laura Kuenssberg4/1 Allegra Stratton6/1 Cathy Newman6/1 Lucy Manning10/1 Robert Peston10/1 Joey Jones16/1 Adam Boulton16/1 Isabel Hardman20/1 Jo Coburn20/1 Norman Smith20/1 Tom Bradby25/1 Kamal Ahmed25/1 Emily Maitlis25/1 Andrew Neil25/1 Julie Etchingham33/1 Stephen Bush33/1 Ross Hawkins33/1 Gary Gibbons50/1 Jon Craig50/1 Michael Crick50/1 Giles Dilnot50/1 Tom Newton-Dunn50/1 Gary O’Donoghue66/1 Kay Burley66/1 Paul Mason100/1 Ed Balls100/1 Iain Dale100/1 Dan Hodges